Today is Australia’s National Day of Thanksgiving. We take this opportunity to say Thank You to you our faithful members who every day uphold our nation in prayer. Your ministry is vital to the future of our nation.
We also thank God for His faithfulness to us as a ministry for more than 30 years now. He always has, and continues to, provide a way for us to serve Him and to be a small part in extending His Kingdom in this wonderful nation we call home.
Thousands of Ethiopian Jews have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in recent weeks in protest of what they said is the “racism and humiliation” they experience daily in Israeli society. The protests were sparked by security camera footage showing two Israeli police officers beating up an Ethiopian IDF soldier. “The fact that the police beat up an Ethiopian soldier is very painful for us,” said Shmuel Belay, a young leader in the growing Ethiopian Messianic community in Israel. “We are soldiers, we are Israelis and we should be equal. The police would never beat up on a soldier like that if he was white.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin agrees that there is a problem in Israel society. “The Ethiopian protesters in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv uncovered an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society,” he said. “The pain is of a community crying out over a sense of discrimination, racism, and lack of response. We have erred. We did not look, and we did not listen enough. Among the protesters on the streets are some of our finest sons and daughters: outstanding students, soldiers who served in the army. We owe them answers.” When the protests themselves turned violent, the police turned out in full force and quickly restored order with water cannons, tear gas and dozens of arrests.
Many criticized the protests because of the violence and disruptions to public order, but the Messianic Ethiopian leadership in Israel asked for understanding. “I ask for prayer regarding the current situation among the Ethiopian-Israeli community. in light of the recent incidents of racism and violence that are happening on a daily basis in this Holy Land,” Avishalom Teklehaimanot, a Messianic Ethiopian pastor from Haifa, said. “I am concerned that the rift and discrimination is growing towards the Ethiopian-Israeli community. If you should have the opportunity to help and advocate for those on the receiving end and stand against this racism, please do so,” he pleaded.
According to a new survey published in recent days, more than a third (37%) of parents younger than 29-years-old would not allow their children to be in the same school as Ethiopian children. “I am appalled by the results of this survey concerning racism towards the Ethiopians in Israel. I am ashamed of this nation and of the people who live here,” complained one Messianic leader from Tel Aviv. “I am beginning to understand that they had to use some force during the protests. I am sorry to say that only by force does the Israeli public begin to pay attention.” Belay says that his people the Ethiopians also need to do more.
“During the protests no one was talking about the fact that we are part of this nation. They only talk about racism and inequality. My people must show everyone that we love Israel, we are part of the Jewish nation and we are proud to be here,” he said. The young Ethiopian Believer continued: “Messianic Ethiopians tend to stay together in their own groups and do not integrate with the rest of the country. That’s a problem we need to correct. My sister and I organized a day of Ethiopian culture for Messianic Jews in Jerusalem. We sang our songs in Amharic, showed Ethiopian art, saw a movie about Ethiopian immigration and told stories of our return to Zion.
This is something that the Ministry of Education should do to help integrate our children into Israeli society.” More than 135,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, having immigrated in two waves in 1984 and 1991. But they have struggled to integrate into Israeli society amidst lingering accusations of institutional discrimination.
WHY CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER IS UNAPOLOGETICALLY PRO-ISRAEL
A recent political exposé by Mark Kennedy answers some of the questions that many have been asking for some time: “Why is Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper such a strong supporter of Israel?” The question is not new however it is one which people have been asking since Harper first espoused his opinion regarding the Middle East conflict. The support he has shown for Israel has been unwavering for the entirety of Harper’s career, so much so that it has spread to many others within the political hierarchy of Canada. Kennedy stated Harper was “remarkably prescient” during speeches made early in his career revealing that “he would one day turn Canadian foreign policy on its head and make Canada the world’s most fervent ally of Israel.”
Harper took office shortly before the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and even at that early point in his term took a very strong pro-Israel, pro-democracy stance. His support and that of Canada has been voiced over and over again.
For his support, Harper became the only foreign dignitary to have received the Key to the Knesset and who was termed as a true friend of Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kennedy accurately explained that Harper stressed that conservatives understood the notion “that moral rules form a chain of right and duty, and that politics is a moral affair,” unlike the “modern left”—which had adopted a position of “moral neutrality”.
In a speech delivered at the Civitas group meeting in 2003, Harper stated, “We understand that the great geopolitical battles against modern tyrants and threats are battles over values. Conservatives must take the moral stand, with our allies, in favour of the fundamental values of our society, including democracy, free enterprise and individual freedom.” Harper continues to support Israel in the current conflict and has even gone so far as to accuse Hamas of being responsible for all the bloodshed. Supporters praise him for his “clarity,” while critics castigate him for a simplistic approach to a complex issue.
Kennedy claims that what motivates Harper is the simplicity of right and wrong, of good and evil, and that while the motivation is simple, the question is still very complex. “It’s about the complexity of the need to take the right side—Israeli democracy versus Islamist terror—in a geopolitical conflict that could someday have impact on Canada,” writes Kennedy. “Harper made it clear. He was going to emphatically choose a side.” Canada for the past eight-and-a-half years has stood by the only real beacon of democracy in the Middle East and has made a clear choice to do so, often coming to odds with the United Nations and numerous Arab countries who choose to vilify Israel at every opportunity.
SYRIAN OFFICIAL THANKS ISRAELI DOCTORS FOR GOOD TREATMENT
Dr. Kamal Al-Labwani, one of the most prominent members of the Syrian opposition movement, was in Israel recently to visit the Syrian casualties hospitalized in the Ziv Medical Centre near Safed. A Syrian doctor and artist, sometimes called “the Syrian Nelson Mandela,” Al-Labwani came to Israel to thank the medical teams. “I came to the Ziv Medical Centre to thank the hospital for treating hundreds of men, women and children, who have received the highest quality treatment, and emotional support following the difficult events they have experienced during the war in Syria. This treatment is not only for the wounded children and women, it is for the entire Syrian people, this is how we feel and everyone knows this and is talking about it.”
“I am filled with appreciation for the medical care that the Ziv Medical Centre is providing for the Syrian people who have been injured in the war. This is a touching humanitarian gesture and an opportunity to build a bridge between our nations,” he said. In Syria, Bashar Al- Assad claims that the Israelis are the enemies, but here at the hospital we see who the real Israel is. Al-Labwani also met leading Israeli Government figures during his visit. He was joined on his visit by an Israeli-American businessman, who has been involved in humanitarian activities for the victims of the war in Syria and in the efforts to assist the Jews still in Syria to leave the country. Hospitals throughout Israel have treated hundreds of Syrians wounded in their civil war.